North Dakota Oil Drillers Waste Our Natural Gas
|February 3, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental|
This 2014 excerpt of NPR’s Morning Edition, Jan 30, is by Jeff Brady.
At oil wells in North Dakota, flares are used to burn off natural gas. There’s currently insufficient infrastructure to store or ship the gas being released by oil drillers in the state.
“People are estimating it’s about $1 million a day just being thrown into the air,” says Marcus Stewart, an energy analyst with Bentek Energy — about 27 percent of the gas they produce.
Infrastructure for the oil rush needs to be built, too, yet oil prices are relatively high, while natural gas prices are really low.
The people who own the rights to the underground oil and gas lose money when gas is wasted. Some of them have filed class-action lawsuits against oil companies.
Winning could amount to tens of millions of dollars of royalties in gas — gas that’s now being wasted amid North Dakota’s rush for oil.
Ed. Notes: Oil companies not only get to waste our natural resources but also get to pollute the air by burning. Meanwhile, government does nothing. Actually, government does do something. It grants oil companies and polluters in general limited liability. That means, the actual individuals in the companies who make the decisions to pollute the public and the environment won’t have to face any legal consequences for their decisions. Without any downside, why not try to maximize profit at the expense of nature, worker, and consumer?
The root of the problem is normalcy bias. We treat pollution as normal. And we treat our rights to both a healthy Earth and to a share of her worth as abnormal.
Fortunately, reversing those biases does not require those who know or care to get the permission of anyone in power in business or government. Progress only requires that those who know or care speak out. So, lend your voice!